March 01, 2018
Nonprofit businesses rely heavily on their volunteers to make their operations run smoothly. However, for many nonprofit management businesses recruiting and keeping enough dedicated, hard-working volunteers is constantly an ongoing challenge as many nonprofits see a volunteer turnover rate that is much higher than they would like it to be.
The big questions is that nonprofits find themselves asking is: Why are our volunteer turnover rates so high? How do we go about retaining more volunteers and having less of a turnover?
The reasons that nonprofits generally see such high turnover rates of volunteers can be quite numerous, but one of the reasons many nonprofits have a large problem with turnover rates is due to poor management strategies that are implemented in managing their volunteer base. The following are 6 of the top nonprofit management strategies that can help organizations retain their volunteer base and create as low of a turnover rate as possible:
- Educate Yourself on Nonprofit Strategies That Are Trending Today: One of the best ways to find successful nonprofit management strategies is to educate yourself on the latest trends. Whether you choose to take local workshops on these strategies or care to read some of the top, recent books about these nonprofit strategies1 on your own time, educating yourself helps provide you with a background on the strategies that will help make your nonprofit more successful. Once you are educated, you are able to help impart that knowledge to those in your organization that work around you. Together, being educated can start a new trend in managing your own nonprofit strategies to be more successful.
- Set A Measurable Goal: Sure, your nonprofit wants to engage, retain, and satisfy volunteers to get them to continue volunteering in the future, but that's all very difficult to do if you do not have an easily measurable goal in place to help you track your progress. For example "Our nonprofit wants to increase our current retention level of volunteers from 40% to 75% within two years" or "We want to increase our volunteer satisfaction level from 50% to 80% on our annual volunteer survey within the next three years". These are measurable goals that can be tracked to see the organization's progress toward a greater goal. Reaching goals can help you determine your organization's progress and determine the next step you need to take to help improve employee retention levels.
- Use Technology to Your Advantage: Use technology to aid you in your volunteer management plan. Whether it's uploading volunteer schedules online or sending emails to communicate with volunteers, technology is a vast and ever-growing world, so use it to your advantage. Using technology appropriately can help take some of the stress off of your management staff as it can help manage their volunteer base with less effort and hands-on involvement on their part.
- Turn Bystanders Into Volunteers: Start initiative programs to turn others in the community who are not involved in nonprofit and charitable work into volunteers. This includes advertising and reaching out to people who may want to become active in their communities and in your organization and may not have a clue where to start. Engage this population through outreach efforts, free workshops, classes, luncheons, anything to get them in the door and to hear about what they can do to help your nonprofit. People love to help others, but many are not sure how. Reaching out and making it easy for them to sign up and get involved will help more of them do just that.
- Increase Fundraising Efforts: Increasing your fundraising efforts2 can help you raise the capital that you need to get new volunteer initiatives off the ground and up and running. Whether you want to launch new campaigns or bolster current ones, more capital income can help you start new projects and help extend your outreach past what you are already doing. Plus, anyone who donates (including volunteers) gets to write their donations off of their taxable income for the year.
- Encourage Networking With Other Nonprofits: Network with other nonprofit organizations who share similar goals to your own organization's. Working together can help you have a bigger impact both in the local community and on a broader scale. The more connections you are able to establish, the more likely you will be able to influence and change even more lives for the better.
These are just 6 ideas to help your nonprofit adopt stronger management strategies. This allows you to better manage the volunteers you have at your disposal and to help you also attract more people to want to be part of your organization in the future. The best way to continue to learn more nonprofit management strategies is to continually educate yourself and be on the lookout for new ideas you can implement into your organization to help you move forward, satisfy current volunteers, attract new ones, and retain the ones that come to you in the future.
For more information on ways to retain your nonprofit's volunteer base as well as increasing it in the future, please feel free to contact us.